Gerald Duane Geist, 77, passed away at his home in Devils Lake the morning of Feb. 1, 2019.
Funeral services for Gerald will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, with the Rev. Tom Westcott officiating. Burial will be in Devils Lake Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post 756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars, and North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.
Visitation will be held at Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and will continue at the church on Wednesday one hour prior to the funeral service.
Gerald was born March 28, 1941, the eldest of three children to Andrew and Ruth Geist in Fargo. He was raised in the Tappen/Steele area where he also attended school. As a child, summers were spent working on his Uncle Gus and Aunt Maggie Steffan’s farm.
Gerald enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1958 and proudly served in the Far East (Okinawa, Guam, Philippines, Borneo, Korea, Japan) working in supply. Upon his honorable discharge in 1961 he was one of the youngest sergeants in the Marine Corps.
Returning to the Steele area, he worked various jobs. There he met, pursued, and won over Eldeen Magstadt. They married in 1963. That same year, he started work for the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and soon moved with his wife and children to Devils Lake in 1968, where they have lived since. Widely respected, he advanced to the position of senior project manager overseeing large, complex projects for NDDOT. He retired in 2012.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Eldeen; sons, Gerald Jr., Fargo, Rod (Nikki), Casselton, Troy, Fargo, Brandon (Heather), Fargo; daughter, Lacey, Devils Lake; grandchildren, Casey, Tanner, and Sully; great-grandchildren, Jhett, Preslee, and Nash; brother, Gary (Patty) Geist; sister, Arvadel Bodvig; brothers-in-law and sisters in-law, Gary and Mary Magstadt, Gary and Juleen Johnson, Bill Magstadt; and many nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Ruth Geist; and brother-in-law, Duane Bodvig.
Gerald was an avid Bison and Vikings fan, prolific reader of history and military books, Professional Bull Riders enthusiast, and joyful pinochle player. He was a man who caught fireflies in glass jars for his children, sat in commune with them before campfires, drove the family cross country to Disney World in a Winnebago, sat at the end of a pier in silence holding his child’s hand, who always remembered his wedding anniversary when his wife most often did not, and whose eyes twinkled at the sight of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He dearly loved his family, and they, him.